Drawings of German Booby-traps Discovered in Britain

A set of valuable drawings and impressions of Second World War booby-traps and stealth bombs used by Germans has been discovered after almost seven decades. The drawings are the artwork of an MI5 commissioned artist Laurence Fish.

While millions of soldiers fought and died during the Second World War a handful of ‘evil geniuses’ were sitting around a table, devising new ways of death and destruction. One of its most deadly and stealth weapons were booby-traps designed by the espionage unit of German Army.

After realizing that Brits were up for the fight till the last man standing, Germany decided to isolate the Brits from the outside world by restricting movements in the waters surrounding the Island. This strategy really panned out for Germans in the First World War with their U-boats.


In Britain a small group of an anti-espionage unit was on task to study and counter Germany’s apparently effective booby-trap bombing strategy. MI5s unit was lead by a charismatic scientist and a larger than life person Victor Rothschild. His secretary (later his wife) and a seconded police detective were assisting him in his hunt and study for German stealth bombs.

Rothschild was a very strange character and despite his immense wealth he was generous and a kind man. He never thought of his project as an assigned job rather he took it as a personal mission and invested everything he could muster into the project. When Rothschild decided to document a large number of varieties of booby-traps, his colleague detective Donald Fish offered the services of his son Laurence who was an avid observer and a very passionate artist. Rothschild quickly accepted the offer and hired Laurence Fish to document his detailed study of German bombs.

The idea was to provide the soldiers with a somewhat detailed overview of various booby-traps they might come across in the battlefields. Unfortunately a large number of young soldiers fell victims of the unknown explosive devices, this made Rothschild’s project ever more significant, the BBC News reports.

The project was such a success that Victor Rothschild earned himself a George Medal along with great respect from all over the European continent. Victor Rothschild and Laurence Fish developed a very warm and friendly relationship over the years they worked together studying and defusing German bombs. After the War, Fish took the path of designer and artist while Rothschild retreated to his family house to live his remaining days in peace of his home. No one knew about the drawings apart from the ones Rothschild had hung on the wall of his study. Just a few weeks ago, Victor Rothschild family found a large collection of drawings in a secluded cabinet in Victor’s study compartment.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE